Loving Hut’s Nampodong Location
By: Emma O’Flynn
Calling all vegetarians! Life in Korea can be challenging as a vegetarian, even more so as a vegan. So when friend introduced me to Loving Hut in Seomyeon, I was thrilled! And then I was equally devastated by it’s recent closure. The following week I was summoned to a teacher’s lunch, and as we all piled into a couple of cars I was informed that we were going to a vegetarian restaurant. Now, when a group of Koreans announce such a thing to me, I take it with a pinch of salt! Perhaps they mean no beef or pork, or perhaps only small pieces of meat mixed through the dish, but not PROPER vegetarian!!! So imagine my utter surprise, and delight, when we pulled up at a Loving Hut!
Decorated with all the cuteness of a Korean coffee shop, this branch of Loving Hut provides a more homely feel than that of the former Seomyeon branch. There are tables hidden in a number of little nooks and crannies to inhabit, and there is even a small hairdresser shop attached! There is a decent selection of organic/vegetarian products for sale also, and an organic ice cream deli too.
The menu is totally in Korean, but the owner was happy to translate for me. Items include Indian style curry, a chilli, fried rice dishes, and soy-protein steak or Donkasa served with roast veggies. They also had a pizza and salad. The usual coffee, tea and juices are available. I ordered the Donkasa which was served with roast veggies and brown rice, but also I was came with a small tomato, potato and veg soup, and a salad that included walnuts and blueberries, and balsamic dressing. Additionally I had a coconut water, which is the one thing I would NOT recommend! The food is a little pricey, however, when you consider the sides that come with the food, it is reasonably good value.
Directions: The restaurant is located in the Dongdaesin neighbourhood, not far from Jalgalchi. The area can be reached by subway (Line 1, stop 108). The street entrance is adjacent to the Gudok Baseball Stadium, where buses to/from Seomyeon leave from. The street for the restaurant is next to a large chimney stack painted blue and white, there is a small hiking gear shop on the right hand side, it’s a short distance up at that turn off. The map below shows some detail, though it is all in Korean.